Daily Office Readings for Monday 15 April 2019 Holy Week Year 1
“For behold, you look for truth deep within me, and will make me understand wisdom secretly. (Psalm 51:7)
Amidst the verses of Psalm 51 regarding sin and the turning away from it, is this verse about God looking for truth deep within us and God’s desire to make us understand wisdom secretly. I find this interesting because I think deep within each of us is our own truth. It is a truth we don’t totally share with anyone else. But God can meet us in our own truth and build us up from there.
There are many great universities in the world. Many are beyond the affordability of people who could really benefit from their teachings. They are packed with wisdom but it is public wisdom. It is wisdom for sale. And maybe what these formal schools offer is knowledge, and not wisdom at all. Wisdom has more to do with discerning intellect. Such discerning intellect is perhaps a gift that is born from within and not something taught. The Psalmist says that God will have us understand wisdom secretly. I think what comes with this secret wisdom is God’s price tag of “Free.” It is free grace.
I was in a systematic theology class once when after the class I noticed several seminarians, of whom I considered to be really smart students, gathered around the instructor to ask questions that perhaps went beyond what the instructor covered in class. So I eased down close to see what I might hear and learn. We were studying the theology of Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas has written several volumes of books about the Trinity. However the professor informed us that just a touch of understanding (free grace) from the Holy Spirit will give us even more understanding than the whole of Thomas Aquinas’s works.
This reminds me of the passage in Luke where the Resurrected Jesus appeared before them and “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24: 45) This is that divine Spirit (that free grace) that only God can give. This has happened several times in the Bible. And I believe it still happens today with us. We just need to be open to what God is doing and pray for such wisdom as did Solomon when he prayed, “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:9) In some translations the “understanding mind” is translated “discerning heart” (NIV). In any case, it is a prayer, and in Solomon’s case, it is so that he will be a better leader for the people of God. God was pleased that Solomon’s request was not self-centered.
We each have our own truths deep within us and God sees and understands our personal truths. But God can, and does help us with ourselves. Our help indeed may come through formal education from a university that builds knowledge but it does not come without God’s assistance. Pray then, for that free grace, for that secrete wisdom that only the Creating Word can give.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to the people of the Creating Word and then let us “Ponder anew what the Almighty is doing.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.